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ators c u d e Oregovnely address creati d prevent — — an arning loss r le summe



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President’s Column

05 / looking back at 2013-14 school year By Hanna Vaandering, OEA President


06 / Events for OEA Members Newsflash

07 / 60th anniversary of brown vs. board of education 09 / Consequences of chocolate milk bans » Teaching & Learning On the Cover

20 / Slip and slide

Armed with a passion for supporting our neediest kids, Oregon educators creatively tackle summer learning loss By Meg Krugel


26 / A Golden conversation

Nancy Golden, Oregon’s Chief Education Officer, shares her thoughts on Common Core, assessment, and poverty By OEA Staff


30 / Fair Share Fee Decision Coming Down the Pipe Harris v. Quinn — one of the most important labor law cases considered by the Supreme Court in decades — could alter the landscape for union members By OEA Staff

10 / Assessment and Common Core 11 / Matrix model Update Licensure

12 / Two Members' perspectives on National Board certification Association in Action

16 / OEA-RA 2014 Highlights Eye on Equity

18 / Summer Food Programs for all Our Voice

19/ a Moratorium ON new High-Stakes Tests OEA Choice Trust

25 / summary Annual report Sources + Resources

32 / Books and Opportunities On the Web

34 /Take a course this summer

ON THE COVER and TOP PHOTO ABOVE: First grade students at Monmouth Elementary make use of the school library, which is open during the summer thanks to a new program called SL3 that's designed to prevent summer learning loss and provide students with healthy lunch options. PhotO by THOMAS Patterson

Credits: Thomas Patterson;



5th Annual Teaching With Purpose Conference

A Call to Culturally Responsive Teaching Calling all Superintendents, Administrators, Teachers, Parents, Students, and Community Members: Join us for the 5th Annual Teaching With

Purpose Conference, featuring expert national presenters in content areas including math, science, literacy, and administration leadership. Conference sessions will address approaches that prepare students from all backgrounds to become future leaders.

Dates Friday-Saturday, October 10-11, 2014, 8:30 a.m.-

3:30 p.m., Friday and 11:15 a.m -3:15 p.m. Saturday Location Roosevelt High School, 6941 N. Central St. Portland, Oregon Cost $115 by 9/1, $165 after For more information including registration, visit Questions? Contact the Center for Community

Engagement at 503-768-6040 or

Program Highlights

Dr. Geneva Gay, Keynote Speaker: Response to the Call of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

Activating Senate Bill 103: A Town Hall Discussion Featuring Oregon State Superintendent Rob Saxon and Oregon Department of Education’s Equity Department

Thank you sponsors!



Dr. Chris Emdin, Keynote Speaker: The Conscious Rap Project Lecture Series: Advancing Hip Hop Education Pedagogy

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE / 06.14 Hanna Vaandering OEA President


t is hard to believe we are wrapping up the 2013-14 school year. It has been an eventful year in which OEA members have stepped up to make a difference in so many ways. As educators we rarely take time to reflect on our successes and to thank those who have gone the extra mile. Please allow me to take a moment to thank those who make our union work: over 200 local and UniServ Presidents; thousands of Building Reps; OEA staff and management team; OEA Board of Directors and Executive Committee members, and of course, each and every one of our 42,000 members who go to work every day to make a difference in the lives of our students. Our Union is growing because of all of you and the work we do together every day! Let’s celebrate some of our successes – starting with the OEA Representative Assembly. Delegates at the 2014 OEA RA made a commitment to leading the way in creating an assessment system that honors student learning and educators’ professional discretion. Actions taken by the over 650 delegates demonstrate that OEA members are standing up for our students and asking parents, students and policy makers to join us as we create a path to student success with the Common Core Standards. Secretary Arne Duncan has tied strings to our waiver that are not research based or, in many people's opinion, in the best interests of our students. It's time for the adults in Oregon to band together and focus on student achievement and a comprehensive plan. Thank you for advocating for a moratorium on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (read more about this, page 19). Next up – our Class Size Campaign. Never in the history of this Union have we organized more members around a campaign. Our K-12 certified, Education Support Professionals and Community College members all came together to focus on a campaign to secure the revenue necessary to provide a quality public education to all students in Oregon. It was great to have so many of our locals believe in the work we are doing and have our members commit to collecting nearly 100,000 signatures. While we will not have Ballot Measures on the 2014 November ballot, we are on our way to the revenue reform necessary to provide the schools

Hanna Vaandering celebrates OEA member achievements at the 2014 OEA-RA.

our students deserve. The recent release of the TELL Oregon survey data shows us once again that class size is the number one concern when it comes to the teaching and learning conditions in our schools. Finally – the TELL Oregon survey. A component of our Strategic Action Plan, the TELL survey was a huge success. Nearly 60 percent of those eligible completed the survey, and 62 percent of our sites hit the 50 percent threshold to receive their site-specific data. The data overwhelmingly demonstrates the need to address the learning conditions of our students. We look forward to working with members, administrators, policy-makers and the public to focus our attention on the realities you have all shared through the TELL Oregon survey and make the changes necessary to provide the schools our students deserve. We have an opportunity to share more successes and plan for the future at our 2014 Summer Leadership Conference July 29-31 in Bend! Please take the time to register and get involved in the great work of our Union at: summerconference. Together we are going to put the love of learning back in education in Oregon. n




UPCOMING / O6.14 Jul. 1-6, 2014

NEA Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly n What: NEA-Representative Assembly delegates will gather from around the country to

elect leaders, review bylaws and policies and set the direction for the NEA in the coming year. n Where: Denver, Col. n how: jul. 29-31, 2014

OEA Summer Leadership Conference n What: Hosted by the OEA Union School, the Summer Leadership Conference will be held at

the Riverhouse Hotel and Convention Center in Bend, Ore. You’re invited to attend in a team from your local association! Contact your local UniServ office for more information. n how: For more information and to register, go to Aug. 1-3, 2014

Oregon AFL-CIO 2014 Summer School n What: Throughout the Summer School weekend, participants meet to share insights and

ideas through educational core courses and workshops, small group discussions, and with lots of opportunities to connect with union members from around the state. n Where: University of Oregon, Global Scholars Hall n how: For more information and to register, visit oct. 10-11, 2014

Teaching with Purpose Conference n What: During this conference, participants will hear from expert national presenters in

content areas including math, science, literacy, and administration leadership. Conference sessions will address approaches that prepare students from all backgrounds to become future leaders. Cost: $115 by 9/1, $165 after. n Where: Roosevelt High School, Portland, Ore. n how: For more information and to register: SAVE THE DATE: Oct. 12-18, 2014

OEA Week of Action: Schools that Oregon Students Deserve n What: OEA will organize a weeklong calendar of actions across the state to support the

“Schools that Oregon Students Deserve.” Every OEA member is encouraged to participate! n HOW: More information will be posted at



OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE OREGON EDUCATION ASSOCIATION JUNE 2014 VOLUME 88 : ISSUE NO. 4 OFFICE HEADQUARTERS 6900 SW Atlanta Street Portland, OR 97223 Phone: 503.684.3300 FAX: 503.684.8063 PUBLISHERS Hanna Vaandering, President Richard Sanders, Executive Director EDITOR Meg Krugel PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Janine Leggett CONTRIBUTORS Janine Leggett, Becca Uherbelau, Erin Whitlock, Teresa Ferrer, Lindsey Capps, Julia Sanders, Thomas Patterson To submit a story idea for publication in Today’s OEA magazine, email editor Meg Krugel at PRINTER Morel Ink, Portland, OR TODAY’S OEA (ISSN #0030-4689) is published four times a year (October, February, April and June) as a benefit of membership ($6.50 of dues) by the Oregon Education Association, 6900 SW Atlanta Street, Portland OR 97223-2513. Non-member subscription rate is $10 per year. Periodicals postage paid at Portland, OR. POSTMASTER Send address corrections to: Oregon Education Association Attn: Becky Nelson Membership Processing 6900 SW Atlanta Street Portland, OR 97223-2513



Newsflash AP Exams Free for Low-Income Students


regon students will now pay less or may even owe nothing at all to take Advanced Placement exams in Oregon. For students who do not qualify as low-income, the test will cost $56, which is $33 less than full price. Those who do qualify for low-income assistance can take the test free of charge. The funding for this discount has come from a combination of state and federal funding as well as rebates from the College Board. At full price, the cost of the test deters some high school students from taking the test, which can later be used for college credit. It is a small step in a larger effort to make Oregon’s education system equitable and accessible to all.

Southern Oregon School Board Says No to Arming Teachers


panel made up of 20 Eagle Point citizens was overwhelmingly against an idea proposed by Board Chairman Scott Grissom to provide training, pay and insurance for approved teachers to carry guns during school hours. Due to a lack of police force in the area, Grissom explained his concern for student safety in the event of an emergency. The same panel was split on whether or not teachers with concealed carry permits could bring their weapons to work, a practice that is currently prohibited.

Credits: National Education Association

On the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, NEA members demand equality in public education.



hen considering the history of the American school system, few moments have been more pivotal than the Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954. Although the struggle for desegregation did not begin or end with the ruling, the case and protests surrounding it made a marked change in American education. The 60th anniversary of the ruling was celebrated on May 17, 2014. President

Obama met with the plaintiffs of the case at the White House. In a statement released to commemorate the occasion, Obama deemed the ruling, “The first major step in dismantling the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine that justified ‘Jim Crow,’ the local laws in the South that permitted racial segregation." With cultural diversity in Oregon’s classrooms on the rise, we see the richness of multiple perspectives uniting in and out of schools, and are witness to the burgeoning possibilities diversity brings to the classroom.


"We must continue striving toward equal opportunities for all our children, from access to advanced classes to participation in the same extracurricular activities, because when children learn and play together, they grow, build, and thrive together." – Barack Obama, On the Anniversary of Brown Vs. Board of Education



Newsflash DID YOU KNOW? » Today’s OEA’s best story ideas come from you, our readers! Is your school working on a cutting edge concept, or do you know an educator who should be featured? Email your suggestions for articles to

New Report Compares Student and Teacher Diversity


ew studies from the National Education Association (NEA) and the Center for American Progress have highlighted the difference in racial diversity between America’s students and teachers. A mere 18 percent of America’s teachers are non-white, a figure that dramatically differs from our nation’s student body, which is 48 percent non-white. It is projected that this fall will be the first time in history that students of color will outnumber white students in America’s K-12 public schools. Oregon’s statistics stack up differently in comparison. Based on data from the 2011-12 school year, the Center for American Progress reported that 11 percent of Oregon’s teachers are people of color compared to 33 percent of our student body.

Helping Female Educators Connect With Technology in Portland


dTechWomen, a networked community that supports women in education technology, has started a Portland chapter this year. The organization began in 2013 when its founders noticed that the technology field did not attract many women, particularly educators. The community prides itself in cultivating meaningful professional relationships, giving women educators an avenue into the technology field, and allowing technology companies access to professionals who are knowledgeable in their field. For news on upcoming events visit www.edtechwomen. com.



Flocabulary: Common Core Aligned Hip Hop


etting students to understand and use new vocabulary can be a challenging task to say the least., a website that provides rap videos and lessons on K-12 vocabulary across the curriculum, makes the life of a teacher just a little bit easier. The common core aligned activities give students an engaging entry point for learning new key words and phrases on a

website that is easy to navigate and userfriendly for teachers. What sets Flocabulary apart from other educational music videos is that each song accompanies printable activities, assessments, and quizzes. The high-quality instruction is matched with its surprisingly good music that gets every student singing along about everything from homonyms to PEMDAS.

Teachers Relocated to Meet Grant Requirements


n an effort to meet the requirements of a $1.85 million federal “turnaround” grant, many of the 23 teachers and 18 education support professionals at East Gresham Elementary School will be relocated to other positions within the district. The decision to take this approach was made by a grant committee, which is made up of 20 teachers and parents and was supported by the Gresham-Barlow Education Association. Nearby Reynolds School District applied for the same grant for three of their schools, but was denied.

Newsflash WILL YOU BE THERE? » Take advantage of OEA's Summer Leadership Conference on July 29-31, 2014! This event is a benefit of membership, and provides training on professional and union advocacy issues. You won't want to miss it!

Survey TELLs the Reality of Oregon Educators


his past spring, the Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning (TELL) Oregon Survey was administered state-wide. Over 19,300, or just under 60 percent, of school-based educators around the state completed the survey, which covered questions related to teaching and learning conditions in their schools. Results of the survey will be used to support ongoing improvement efforts in our schools, districts, and at the state policy-making level. A few key findings: n 8 out of 10 educators believe their school is a good place to work and learn. n 3 out of 4 teachers believe their class sizes do not allow them to effectively support student learning. Of the 17 states which have conducted the TELL survey, Oregon respondents reported the most concern over class size. n Only half of educators feel they have sufficient time to collaborate with their colleagues. School, district, and state-level results are available at

North Medford Astronomy Teacher Will Go to Space


ery soon Robert Black (far right) will have more than just his head in the clouds. The North Medford High School astronomy teacher and planetarium director is one of 26 educators and amateur astronomers selected by NASA to go aboard the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA. Black’s participation requires more than a trip to space. In addition to hours of training and preparation, he will be conducting educational talks and public outreach. "In the continuum that is my career, it'll be one of those defining moments," Black said. It will undoubtedly be a defining moment for the students and staff at North Medford High School as well.

New Warm Springs School Receives Federal Grant


eachers and students will get a fresh start at the new Warm Springs K-8 academy. The school is bringing a culturally relevant project-based teaching approach to the tribal community thanks to a $1.6 million School Improvement Grant from the U.S. Department of Education that was recently awarded to Jefferson County schools. The funding is designated for the area’s lowest-performing schools. Principal Glenna DeSouza is excited to give her students new learning opportunities and is focusing her efforts on professional development for her staff. "We will be implementing new learning strategies, but we also want to honor and celebrate the culture of Warm Springs. So kind of blending those together, that's exciting," DeSouza said.

The Unintended Effects of Banning Chocolate Milk


ach carton of chocolate milk that is served to Oregon’s students contains around 24 grams of sugar, which is comparable to many soft drinks. This fact has many teachers arguing for banning chocolate milk. A recent study by Cornell University suggests that doing so would have some unintended consequences. The study involved 11 schools in which chocolate milk was banned. The researchers were surprised to find that

Credits: Left: Thomas Patterson; Right Top: Ken Ulbrich/The Columbian

not only did 10 percent of the students stop drinking milk, but several students stopped eating school lunches entirely. Though there was a drop in the amount of sugar and calories the students ate at lunch, they also consumed less calcium and protein. Rather than eliminate chocolate milk, a better option is to encourage students to make dietary choices that will support their learning and development.



Teaching & Learning



e have heard a lot about standards in education, and in recent history there have been exponential changes in how they impact our students and classrooms. Historically, content standards were introduced to “level” the playing field in education; if all students were expected to know the same content, theoretically there would be less divide in outcomes between schools across a district, county, state or country. The Common Core Standards, adopted by the Oregon State Board of Education in 2010, have been a hotly debated topic by educators, parent groups, and community members. As stated in the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) Common Core State Standards fact sheet, content standards are designed to focus on critical concepts, knowledge, skills and behaviors crucial for students to succeed in the 21st century. As such, they are deliberated with the intent to increase life achievement. While these standards are intended to help each and every student learn and achieve, the promise of this learning is only accomplished through the skilled instruction of teachers and the genuine opportunity for teachers to lead through practice. That means teachers, and their relationship to student learning, must be our collective focus with a sustained commitment of support. Educators across Oregon have expressed their need for time, tools and resources in order to gain a deep understanding of the new Common Core Standards, assess their appropriateness, collaborate with colleagues, work with parents, and adjust their curricula, lesson plans, assessments, and classroom instruction to ensure students are 10


successful. The teaching and learning conditions that we know are important for students to thrive are also important to our educators. We can empower teachers and paraprofessionals to advocate for and create the conditions in schools for this learning to become a reality. Mandated curriculum, the proliferation of standardized tests, and large class sizes are not the path forward – what Oregon needs now is an engaged workforce of educators who know first-hand what does and does not work for their students. At the recent 2014 OEA Representative Assembly (OEA-RA), members of the Oregon Education Association took a formal stand on behalf of their students against the overuse of new highstakes, standardized tests. Educators demanded a moratorium on the Smarter Balanced Assessment, the state’s new high-stakes, standardized test that is scheduled to go into effect next school year, 2014-15. Educators are concerned that there has not been enough focus on implementation of the new Common Core Standards, which the Smarter Balanced Assessment is designed to measure. Because of this, the assessment will not accurately measure student learning at this time. Moreover, since there are now multiple high-stakes attached to the outcomes of these assessments, from school report cards to educator evaluation goals to student graduation, it is imperative that the cart not be placed before the horse. All Oregon students deserve the benefit of having educators who have been a part of a thoughtful process of implementation, including all of the aforementioned supports needed to ensure student success.


he following are some priority actions OEA believes will put Oregon on the right track to support the success of each and every student: n Continue Smarter Balanced Assess-

ment field tests during 2014-15 school year while increasing professional learning support for educators and learning time for students. n Support and complete the joint ef-

fort underway between OEA, Oregon’s Chief Education Officer Nancy Golden, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Rob Saxton, and the Office of the Governor in proposing a more balanced and effective system of assessments for Oregon students. n Provide deeper, ongoing profession-

al learning for educators – and among educators – successful instruction practices to implement the Common Core Standards. n Develop and sustain a connected

statewide network for peer-to-peer professional learning, focused on dayto-day practice. n Support educator voice in deter-

mining whether adjustments are needed at various grade levels in the implementation of the Common Core Standards.


Teaching & Learning "Parents and teachers strive for each and every student to meet the highest expectations for learning. We make this much harder on our kids when the name of the game is more high-stakes testing. Instead, we need to invest the time, resources and money to ensure student success." — Hanna Vaandering, OEA President



n 2011, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 290, which introduced Oregon to new standards-based teacher and administrator evaluation systems that are collaboratively developed and “customized” locally. These Educator Professional Growth and Evaluation Support Systems must include multiple measures to assess professional practice and responsibilities, student learning and growth, and must focus on educator professional growth and continuous improvement. Congruently, Oregon was required to implement new teacher and administrator evaluation systems to avoid punitive provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act. In 2011-2012, a work group of teachers, OEA leaders and staff, administrators, education policymakers and advocates designed the Oregon Framework for Teacher and Administrator Evaluation and Support Systems. This framework (per the waiver requirements) asked districts to consider as

a “significant factor” student learning and growth in educator evaluation, and Oregon began the discussion of what that would look like at the local level. In June 2012, OEA and local leaders advocated for a matrix model rather than a percentage formula. They believed it represented our values including a focus on professional growth that empowered the teacher voice and leadership in the process. Further, the purpose of the matrix was to be a collaborative tool used to drive professional learning strategies for each educator, by each educator. In July 2012, Oregon received federal approval to pilot both the percentage and matrix approaches the following school year. The pilot process involved 14 school districts in total. OEA’s Center for Great Public Schools (GPS) partnered with Beaverton and North Clackamas school districts and their local education associations to collaboratively design and

pilot a matrix model. GPS also provided technical assistance and professional learning to teachers and administrators in other matrix pilot districts, including South Lane, Ashland, and Oregon City. For 2013-14, Oregon asked USED to continue pilots, involving more than 1750 teachers. Oregon also convened a group of OEA leaders, ODE, COSA and pilot participants to participate in a policy discussion around the outcomes of the pilots. The result of these conversations is the new matrix model for Oregon, organized around standards of practice and individual educator goalsetting for professional growth and student learning (see illustration below). The matrix represents a final summative pathway for educators’ aligned professional learning and growth, with the goal of enhancing and building professional supports for all educators so that ultimately, Oregon’s students benefit from this lens on educator practice.

Introducing Oregon’s Matrix Model for Educator Summative Evaluations Oregon’s Requirements for Teacher and Administrator Evaluation and Support Systems Teacher and administrator evaluation and support systems in all Oregon school districts must include the following five elements described in the Oregon Framework for Teacher and Administrator Evaluation and Support Systems:






Standards of Professional Practice

Differentiated Performance Levels

Multiple Measures

Evaluation and Professional Growth Cycle

Aligned Professional Learning

Credits: Maciej Perek/freeimages






he National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is a rigorous process by which accomplished teachers demonstrate advanced practice through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review. National Board Certification is a voluntary advanced teaching certification process designed to recognize effective and accomplished teachers who meet high standards on what teachers should know and be able to do. This certification process compliments but does not replace state licensure. As part of the certification process, candidates complete articulated assessments that are reviewed by trained teachers in their certification areas. The assessments include separate portfolio entries that feature teaching practice and constructed response exercises that assess content knowledge. The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards was developed as an independent, non-profit, non-partisan and non-governmental organization in 1987 to advance the quality of teaching

and learning by developing articulated and well-researched professional standards for accomplished teaching, creating a voluntary system to certify teachers who meet these rigorous standards and integrating these certified teachers into educational reform efforts. Five core propositions form the foundation and frame the rich combination of knowledge, skills, dispositions and beliefs that characterize National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). n Proposition #1: Teachers are committed to students and their learning. n Proposition #2: Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students. n Proposition #3: Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning. n Proposition #4: Teachers think systemically about their practice and learn from experience. n Proposition #5: Teachers are members of learning communities. Oregon has a lot of ground to cover. We

currently have only 297 NBPTs, which pales to our neighboring states that have made advanced gains in statewide initiatives. Oregon was successful in promoting House Bill 3474 which called for a statewide plan to support and promote NBPTS but the funding for this plan was not realized. The Oregon Education Association is uniquely situated to drive the promotion of NBPTS but, just as importantly, to connect those who have obtained National Certification and those who are interested in it. We can increase the capacity for National Certification by elevating and nurturing the leadership potential of those who are certified in Oregon. We can build a system of support to enable and increase the success rate of those who pursue National Certification and we can bolster a broader coalition of support statewide by utilizing our NBCTs themselves. On the following pages, two OEA members share their experiences pursuing National Board Certification. We hope you read their words and are inspired to explore the possibility for yourself!

Oregon National Board Certified Teachers Fast Facts To Date n Nationally Board Certified Teachers

(NBCTs) have been certified from 71 Oregon School Districts n 42 NBCTs in Gresham Barlow SD n 19 NBCTs in Oregon City SD n 15 NBCTs in Lincoln County SD n 15 NBCTs in Portland Public

Schools n 297 total teachers in Oregon have

earned National Board Certification n 28 NEW NBCTs in 2013 n 10 NEW NBCTs in 2014



n 38 Collective Bargaining Agreements

have language that supports National Board Certification (as of September 2013) n 31 of those agreements include specific

language focused on stipends, salary and pay schedule benefits for NBCTs

n Of all of the certification categories,

these are the highest in Oregon: n Generalist: Middle Childhood

(76 NBCTs) n Generalist: Early Childhood

(52 NBCTs) n Science/Adolescence

and Young Adulthood (22 NBCTs) n English Language Arts/

Early Adolescence (20 NBCTs)


PERSPECTIVE: National Board Certification and a Change of Heart BY LISA NORTH


n the past, National Board advocates would have wanted you to shy away from asking my opinion regarding National Board Certification. My general response over the last 10 years has been, “It’s not worth the time or money.” I certified in 2004 as an Early Childhood Generalist, which covers education of children up to 8 years old. I was in my 6th year of teaching and had a wonderful classroom of 2nd graders. I didn’t approach certification with a self-reflection and growth goal in mind. I engaged the process as an opportunity to prove what I knew about teaching and learning and to have recognition of that expertise. I had a great start to my career. At the time, my district had a nationally recognized professional development program that helped me be solid in classroom management and learning processes. Because I had support as a new teacher, it allowed me to fully utilize my creativity to engage students. I figured I had it together and I just wanted to prove it. With the exception of having to redo one question on the assessment, I passed on my initial submission. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t easy. The process is a strenuous one. There was a great deal of writing and planning, sorting and organizing, reflecting and piecing together, but I found myself focused more on formatting my portfolio correctly than looking at what I was learning about myself as a teacher or about my students as learners. I viewed it as a resume builder. While my school board and union voted to make an allowance to the contract and give me a one-time stipend (after a story ran in the newspaper), that was the only monetary reward or recognition I would receive. At the time, a couple local districts were paying stipends for the certification, but my district was not. I had hopes that the

East Coast National Board enthusiasm would carry this way and we’d soon be seeing stipends in all districts, but it never did. I already had the highest licensure. I had already finished my Master’s degree. I was already all the way over on the pay scale. It literally was a piece of paper that told me that I had proven myself a good teacher. At the risk of sounding conceited, I was a proven educator. My students exhibited success on a regular basis, they liked being in my class, parents stroked my ego daily, I had an amazing team to work with who allowed me to excel, and now I had a piece of paper that said I had achieved national standards (even though no one else knew what those were). Although I tried to remain humble outwardly, my over-confidence kept me from getting as much out of the internal process as I could have. Over the past 10 years I have grown tremendously as an educator and an educational leader. Now, after 17 years in education, I am finally seeing more in myself and reflecting on what I have learned and what I can offer the education profession. In hindsight, National Board Certification did give me something more than a piece of paper, even though it took me 10 years to see it. It let me decide what my best work was and how my best work affected student success. It was a validation of my own pedagogy and how I view teaching and learning. How do the things I do impact student learning? Why do they impact student learning? Why will that matter to the students? It’s not about learning more content. It gave me the opportunity to articulate how and why I do what I do and learning why that’s important. But even more that all of that, it gave me a chance to learn about myself as a leader and how to be part of a professional community. Recent events have allowed me

to discover the most powerful advantage of all. National Board Certification has opened doors to deeper conversations with other top level educators across the country. It has given me an increased ability to advocate for student learning with greater capacity and voice at the state and national level. The National Board process is a powerful experience that challenges our practices to make us more effective teachers and sets us on the path to becoming leaders in the profession. It’s a rigorous, peer-reviewed process that ensures candidates have proven skills to advance student achievement. This isn’t to say that only educators who have proven themselves in this arena are worthy of recognition. This is a very personal journey, it’s not a contest. No matter how confident we are in our work, thinking about why we do what we do helps us grow in our profession. The late Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Once we are proven in what we do, whether by National Board certification or another path, our voice is stronger. We can advocate collectively. We, as professional educators, will do ourselves good to embrace all avenues of greatness, find ways to set ourselves apart as distinguished, encourage each other to have a commitment to excellence, and push each other to be the best we can be. Then we can celebrate each other’s achievements, build a strong united presence and speak up for students with a powerful voice. As we strive to take back our profession, National Board Certification may be your path to boldly lead where no teachers have been before. LISA NORTH is an elementary math instructional coach in the Medford School District




PERSPECTIVE: How I Came To Be A National Board Certified Teacher BY LUANN LEE / OEA Member


very year, as the deadline for portfolio submissions nears, I find that candidates take comfort and amusement at my own certification story. Flashback to mid-October 1997.  I was in my 9th year of teaching chemistry.  I’d also taught biology, physics, and pretty much every math class besides calculus. The district’s curriculum director appeared outside my classroom door one day.  She had a news email (back in those days, teachers didn’t have email accounts, so admins had to print anything they wanted to share) from the Ohio Department of Education.  She offered me the paper and pointed to a paragraph near the bottom of the page. “Here is some information about a new national certificate.  Tom (an Algebra I teacher in my building) is going to do it in Math.  This is the first year science teachers are eligible.  I think you should do it too.” I took the paper.  There was a cost of $2500. Ohio would pay the entire cost except for $65 to enroll.  After certification, I would receive $2500 per year, but that’s not all.  Enroll now and there would also be professional development and countless opportunities for professional advances. I made the call after school and requested the enrollment package. It arrived about a week later.  I spent the better part of a Saturday preparing the paperwork and writing letters to verify employment, education, principal support, identification, etc.  Geez, I thought, I am not sure what the point is, but hey, for $2500 a year for 10 years, I was in. I would soon have a child in college. Just before Christmas, a box (THE Box) arrived from NBPTS.  I placed it next to my desk at home, too busy to open it at that point, and forgot about it. A week or so later, I picked it up while vacuuming and thought that it felt a bit heavy to be a certificate. I opened it; any 14


candidate who’s been certified for several years would recognize the huge 3-ring binder with hundreds of pages of instructions, the means of sending directions before DVD’s and downloads. The first day back to school after break, I trotted into the curriculum director’s office, dropped the box on her desk with a resounding THUD and said, (expletives deleted), “What is THIS????” Curriculum Director replied, “Yeah, Tom got one of those over break – I guess now you guys have to fill that out, too. You have to make videotapes for it.  I got a grant to pay for the videos but Tom is using it all so you’ll have to get creative.” I said, “I don’t have time to do this!  It’s due in June.  I have to teach.” Curriculum Director: “If you don’t do it, I think you have to pay Ohio back the $2500.” I managed not to choke her; being a teacher, I have tremendous self-restraint. I did have a few chemistry units that I had been meaning to revise; perhaps this would give me the prodding I needed to polish up those units. So, I “filled it out.” I had no facilitator, no cohort group, no one to read my entries and provide feedback.  Tom and I didn’t even really talk much about our work.  We just didn’t know what to say.  After all, we were in two different subject areas.  What help could we possibly be to one another? I set up a template for each part of each entry I had to write and made folders for them, named, well, I really shouldn’t say what I named them. I had a student who could push buttons to videotape my classes. I read the prompts for each entry and answered them as best I could. I said vocabulary words under my breath – words I hadn’t realized I knew. I revised, described my lessons and videos, I analyzed each lesson at the atomic level, and then reflected

until I felt like a giant concave mirror, knowing even then that this would be the best professional learning I’d ever have. Nine years in, most teachers begin to feel comfortable. According to some literature, we peak sometime after year 5.  The National Board process created a new, much higher peak I had to climb. I walked into class every day during the process as a more accomplished educator. A lesson I thought was good the week before was no longer acceptable as part of my practice, and was tweaked to be the best thing for my students at that time and place in their learning. I saw that I was impacting student learning in ways I never knew I could. My focus was on becoming a better teacher, not on the portfolio I would submit. I followed the instructions in the portfolio.  I re-read everything I wrote, editing for clarity. I Xeroxed and filled in all the cover forms. I put everything in the correct envelope (apparently). I sent it in, all six entries (remember this was in the Olden Days.) I signed up for the test on the only day in August that the AYA/Science test was offered.  I went to Belize twice that summer with student groups, and returned just in time to make it to the assessment center. I promptly forgot about the whole process until October, when I got a letter saying I should watch for a FedEx package in early November.  It would contain my results. Results?  What did they mean, results? Wasn’t I to get a certificate?  I called 1-800-22TEACH (again) to ask.  No, someone told me, less than half of the teachers who send in a portfolio are certified.  WTF? All that work could be for nothing? I thanked the nice lady with all the courtesy I could muster and hung up. Beginning on Nov. 1, I went home daily at lunch to check for a package. Nothing. A few more days; still nothing.  I decided not to bother going home anymore.  Obviously

Licensure ALL THAT I LEARNED AND ALL THAT I CONTINUE TO LEARN, LARGELY AS A RESULT OF THE NATIONAL BOARD PROCESS, CONTINUES TO BE THE MOST ORGANIC AND IMPACTFUL PROFESSIONAL LEARNING I’VE EVER UNDERTAKEN. this whole thing was some kind of horrible hoax. All that writing experience would serve me well as I would most likely be filing reports and claims with the BBB. The day I stopped checking for packages, my chemistry classes were doing the Water of Hydration lab.  Odd, how I still remember that.  A student office aide appeared at my door near the end of 5th period, carrying a flat FedEx box.  I looked at the sender – NBPTS.  My fingers trembled and I thought how I would no doubt have to call 1-800-22TEACH (again) and ask for an explanation as to why I did not get a certificate.  I had sent in damn good stuff. The class was cleaning up and I wondered whether to open the envelope immediately, or to wait until after school.  I later learned that my husband had stopped at home by chance, found the letter, brought it to the HS office, and  handed it to my friend Sue the secretary. Sue then made her aide bring it to me because both she and my husband were too afraid. Not being a patient person, I did not hold that thought long. “Congratulations,” the letter began. I searched the enclosed leaflet for my scores.  Was there some mistake? Could this be true? I was certified? Yes, indeed.  Although there was actually a mistake on AYA/Science score reports that year (the last two assessment center exercise scores were not printed but were included in the total score) I had way more than enough points to certify. I was one of 98 science teachers in the country to achieve certification that inaugural year. Tom was not so fortunate. He needed to submit twice more as what we now know as an advanced candidate, but he finally certified.  Those times, I read his entries and offered feedback.  He was an excellent teacher, but had difficulty simply writing to the prompts.

Since then, I’ve had the privilege  of facilitating dozens of successful candidates in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Oregon. I know that I learn at least as much from each candidate as he or she does from me. In November 2007, I got word that my renewal Profile of Professional Growth earned renewed status.  All that I learned and all that I continue to learn, largely as a result of the National Board process, continues to be the most organic and impactful professional learning I’ve ever undertaken. Candidates, take heart.  Fellow NBCT’s, congratulations. Update, April 28, 2014 The growth and learning continue. I’ve taught courses at both undergraduate and graduate level at two state universities. Working with pre-service teachers is a privilege. Working with teachers is an honor.  Facilitating National Board candidates is intense. Meeting with renewal candidates as they share their professional growth in practice since initial certification is like having a direct line into the practice of dozens of the best in the profession.  The best professional learning and improvement to our practice comes from networking with accomplished teachers. The National Board Certification process has provided the opportunity to network with the best of the best in my profession and the skills I needed to learn all that I can from each one. It’s who I am as a professional. I’d love for you to join me as I continue learning to do the very best I can for Oregon’s children. I’ll renew again in 2016-17, year 28 of my career. I don’t want to have to say that I used to be a National Board Certified Teacher. LUANN LEE currently teaches biology, chemistry and advanced placement chemistry at Newberg High School.

NEW Certification Process Fast Facts n 2013-2014 candidate cycle is the

last year to complete the full cycle in one year until the phase-in is complete n Total cost of certification will

decrease to $1900, with each of the four separate components costing no more than $500 each n Candidates will have the option

(after phase-in) to pay for and submit each component separately. n Four Components: n Component 1:

Content Knowledge n Component 2:

Differentiation in Instruction n Component 3:

Teaching Practice and Classroom Environment n Component 4:

Effective & Reflective Practicioner n Phase-in will be complete in 2016-

2017 when all four components will be available in a single year n 2014-2015: Components 1 and

2 available only (all renewals under current assessment) n 2015-2016: Components 1, 2

and 3 available only (all renewals under current assessment) n 2016-2017: All four

components available and renewals under new assessment n What is the same? n Same level of rigor, n Same five core propositions, n Same architecture of

accomplished teaching, n Same performance-based,

peer-review model and n Same content knowledge and

commitment to student learning.



Association in Action OEA MEMBERS GOVERN AT 2014 REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY At the 2014 OEA representative Assembly (RA), over 650 delegates gathered to adopt changes to OEA’s Bylaws, Policies, Resolutions and Legislative Objectives. Delegates also proposed, debated and acted on New Business Items, and elected officers to serve as OEA Region Vice Presidents, NEA Director and Ethnic Minority Director. Refer to 2014 OEA RA Minutes for full details on debate.

ELECTION RESULTS Serving a two-year term beginning July 10, 2014

n Regina Norris, Region I Vice President n Caryn Connolly, Region II Vice President n Michael Endicott, Region III Vice President Serving a three-year term beginning Sept. 1, 2014

n John Larson, NEA Director

Serving a two-year term beginning July 10, 2014

n Alejandra Barragan, Ethnic Minority Director

ELECTED BY MAIL-IN BALLOTS 2014 OEA Board of Directors

n District 01b: Cat A. Brasseur n District 02: Nabil A. Zerizef n District 03a: Eric E. Miller n District 04: Laura Scruggs n District 06: Jeff Foster n District 08: Karen Laurence n District 09: Joe Minson n District 10c: Suzanne Cohen n District 11: Marsha Lincoln n District 13: Mary Lynn Marden n District 15b: R. Keith Ayres n District 16: Susan Huffman n District 17a: Helen Jacobs n District 20a: Deborah Barnes n District 24: Doris Jared n District 27: Debra Wiskow n District 30b: Scott Wallace

2014 NEA RA DELEGATES Region I – 7 Positions (3 year terms)

n R. Keith Ayres n Paula Depass-Dennis n Jennifer Dorsey n Scott Wallace n Jamie Zartler n Nanci Stauffer n Terrel Smith

Region II – 4 Positions (3 year terms)

n Patricia Jolly n Cherene Mills n Laurel Ross n Katie Shumway

Region III – 3 Positions (3 year terms)

n Cat A. Brasseur n Kelvin Calkins n Cheri A. Howard



APPROVED BY DELEGATES OEA member delegates approved revisions to OEA’s Legislative Objectives, Resolutions, Bylaws and Policies. They also approved: 1. That OEA conduct an immediate survey of all 2014 RA delegates from UniServs slated for office closures, including the already closed N. Coast UniServ, with the following questions, plus the addition of a comment section for each question. The information will be presented at the May Board of Director’s meeting for review before the adoption of the 2014-15 budget. A summary of the survey results along with the raw data including all comments, will be sent to all 2014 RA Delegates who have provided an email address. 1. What is your UNISERV? 2. What is your position in your UNISERV? (Check all that apply) • Rank & File • Local committee member/chair person • Local Leadership (box to submit position) • OEA Board member/member of other statewide committee • Other (text box) 3. Are you in favor of closing your local office? 4. What are the current needs of your council that are being met? 5. What are the current needs of your council are are [sic] not being met? 6. What items should be included in any transition plan in case of closure of your office? 7. What are the PSO/ASO/SAP staffing needs for your UNISERV? * 2. That OEA shall join in coalition with other organizations demanding moratorium of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to allow time for a summative assessment tool of Common Core State Standards to be properly piloted. To ensure the assessment accurately measures student learning of the standards, any modifications deemed necessary shall be made prior to implementation. 3. That OEA replace the words “RIGOR” and “RIGOROUS” with the words “VIGOR” and “VIGOROUS” when referring to curriculum, curriculum design and classroom in new publications, statements, and communications. 4. That the OEA Board of Directors bring forth a policy amendment to the 2015 OEA-RA that would allow the RA to forgive the 1999 loan from the crisis Relief Fund for the purpose of renovating the OEA headquarters. 5. That the OEA conduct and immediate survey within 30 days to ask each local president about the efficiency of having the membership processed at the Tigard office and report back to the Board of Directors with a copy of the raw data and a summary at the August 2014 Board meeting. The survey will have a question asking locals to rate their membership processing as having improved, stayed the same, or decreased in quality. A comment box will be provided for all questions. 6. That the OEA direct the Relief Fund Committee to come up with a plan for procedures associated with using the Relief Fund for strike build up. The committee will propose interim policy to the Board of Directors and the Board of Directors will bring the interim policy to the 2015 RA for approval. All locals who have had strike build-up in the past year

will provide direct feedback to the committee. * 8. That OEA publicly invites Oregon legislators and every elected and appointed education public official to take the SBAC test. Invitations are to be completed by OEA staff prior to the end of the 2014 school year through the use of press releases and letters to each of these individuals. OEA will construct a short survey for elected officials who have taken the SBAC so their experiences can be aggregated. Participants would include individual comments anonymously, if they so choose. This feedback will be the property of OEA and publicly presented. 10. That the OEA Magazine research, write and publish articles highlighting the Solutions not Suspensions Campaign and alternative disciplinary practices that keep students and families engaged in school and students engaged in their education instead of being pushed out as victims of the school to prison pipeline. 12. That OEA caucuses be given priority for tabling in the space closest to the floor. 14. That OEA encourage members to organize to refuse to implement the Smarter Balanced Statewide Assessment and support members who organize to do so. 17. That OEA endorse the Network for Public Education’s call for congressional hearings on the misuse and abuse of standardized testing. 18. That OEA will support Locals that get involved in and contribute resources to living wage campaigns for all workers. OEA will do this by highlighting local actions in existing publications to all members, and by making a substantial effort to mobilize members in large numbers for events that promote, demand, or debate a living wage. 19. That OEA shall 1) Support the rights of parents/ guardians to collaborate with teachers to determine appropriate options for assessment of student’s proficiency if opting out of statewide standardized assessments. OEA will advocate for their right to do so without retaliation. 2) Encourage its local affiliates to work alongside students and parents and leadership groups in promoting opt out for SBAC tests and other standardized tests. 3) Inform members of current student and parent organizations’ opt-out efforts through existing communication vehicles. 20. That OEA shall support the fight against IP52, the Discrimination Measure, which would allow business to discriminate against same-sex marriage/partnership ceremonies. 21. That OEA shall adopt the investment filter called “Ratings: ENVIRONMENT” for the relief fund as soon as it is practical. 22. That the OEA Foundation register as a charitable organization with and advertise to members just like they do for Fred Meyer. 23. That OEA shall support the dreamers and DACA students by publishing stories of undocumented student struggles. OEA will align and work with local activists groups such as CAUSA, PCUN, DREAMERS, Latino Network and other advocacy groups and aid in the driver’s license campaign to educate voters on the need to have driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. OEA will publish and promote local actions and activist campaigns, educate and organize parents, and connect them with resources to help them when a member of the community gets held on an ICE detainer and is qualified for prosecutorial discretion. * Shown as amended


Dick Barss/Pat Wohlers Member Rights Award


Medford Education Association

Noel Connall Instructional/Professional Development Award n LAURA SCRUGGS,

Springfield Education Association Robert G. Crumpton Organizational Excellence Award n KAREN WATTERS,

Sutherlin Education Association Excellence in Education Award n DEBORAH BARNES,

North Clackamas Education Association OEA Political Action Award


Kevin Forney Education Support Professional Award n ESTHER SHEPHARD,

Association of Salem-Keizer Education Support Professionals Deanna Conner Community College Award n JIM SALT,

Lane Community College Faculty Education Association Ed Elliott Human Rights Award




Joy Wallace, Co-Chair

OEA Education Citizen of the Year Award n REP. LEW FREDERICK,

Oregon House of Representatives News Media Award


News Editor, Clackamas Review newspaper

PRESIDENTIAL CITATIONS OEA President Hanna Vaandering recognized the following OEA members with Presidential Citations at the 2014 Representative Assembly:

Credits: Adam Bacher

2014 Friends of the Foundation

Political Action Award


Bend Education Association


2014 Teacher of Year Award n BRETT BIGHAM,


Klamath County Education Association

Multnomah Co. ESD Education Association

Newsletter Award

Advocacy Award

“Oregon City Education Association”, Oregon City EA


Junction City Association of Classified Employees n CAROL PHILLIPS,

Central Education Association Bargaining Award n BILL WILSON,

Portland Association of Teachers n KAREN LALLY,

Beaverton Education Association Great Communicator Award n CAT BRASSEUR,

Medford Education Association Leadership Award


Medford Education Association n JILL GOLAY,

Hillsboro Education Association n KELSEY SMITH,

Marcola Education Association Lifetime Achievement Award n MARK BONY,

OEA-Retired n PAT EDER,





Social Media Award


Coos Bay Education Association ( Website Award


Chemeketa Faculty Association ( n GWEN SULLIVAN

Portland Association of Teachers (

OEA PIE awards:

OEA-Retired: Highest average contribution per OEA-PIE member for 2013-2014. Beaverton EA: Highest percentage of OEA members who are OEA-PIE contributors this school year. Mt Hood UniServ Council: Largest percentage increase in OEA-PIE contributors in 2013-2014. NEW — Fern Ridge EA: Local with highest percentage of OEA members who are OEAPIE contributors for 2013-2014



Eye on Equity



ummer break should be a time for blissful relaxation, learning, and fun for Oregon’s students. But for about one in four of our state’s children who are at risk for either hunger or food insecurity, the summer is more likely to be a stressful time. When school breakfasts and lunches aren’t available, many families and children have fewer resources for food and may skip meals or are forced to make less healthy or appropriate choices. Thankfully, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) offers a critical bridge to nutritious meals for these children when school is out. Summer food sites can be located in parks or schools, public libraries, community centers, or many other places where children congregate. Summer Food sponsors, volunteers, advocates, and state administrators work very hard to make sure that all of the students who need this program in the summer time are able to access it. We work in partnership to try to address the common barriers that keep kids and families from being able to participate, because we know the need is very great. We spread the word with banners, flyers, and radio PSAs. We give support grants for new equipment, and visit sites to see how kids and families like the meals and what improvements or changes might be made. Unfortunately for thousands of children living in rural and sparsely populated areas of our state, summer meals are not easy to access simply because of a lack

of transportation. While school buses reliably transport kids every day during the school year, many school districts and smaller communities don’t have the funds or the capacity to operate buses for the summer meal program. Sadly, this means that many kids can’t get to the nutritious meals they desperately need simply because of where they live. In rural areas, the “mobile meals” delivery model has emerged as an alternative way to reach kids by bringing the food to them in their communities. Meals and snacks can be assembled and then packed

on to converted school buses, vans, or trucks, and distributed at multiple sites in a rural area. Apartment complexes, mobile home parks, and low-income housing facilities are great candidates for mobile meal programs. Coos Bay School District and Estacada School District, for example, serve meals through mobile buses and they are able to reach many children who would otherwise be inaccessible along the southern Oregon coast and in rural Clackamas County. The good news is that bringing food to kids through mobile sites can be efficient and fun (many programs decorate and retrofit their vehicles to make them into travelling “cafes,” representing healthy food and summer fun, and these are very recognizable to local kids). The bad news is that these mobile options aren’t typically funded by existing state and federal dollars, meaning that outside grants and support are necessary to get them started and keep them running. In order to equitably serve all of the children in the state with healthy and nutritious food, regardless of where they live or what their transportation limitations are, it is imperative that we think about transportation and access issues when we plan for feeding kids in the summer. No child in Oregon should have to go hungry in the summer or at any time of the year. And even more importantly, no child should have to miss out on the healthy food and enrichment that the summer food program provides because of where their families choose to live.

What does hunger look like in your classroom? One in four of our state's children are struggling with food insecurity. We know that educators in Oregon's schools see too many students who are struggling to learn due to hunger and poverty. If this has been your experience in your classroom or school, we'd like to hear from you. Will you share the story of student hunger in public education? Use your voice to help us raise awareness, and together we can affect real and positive change in the lunchroom and the classroom. Please contact Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon via email ( or call us at (503) 595-5501.



Our Voice



t the recent 2014 OEA Representative Assembly (OEA-RA), members of the Oregon Education Association took a strong stand on behalf of their students and against the overuse of new high-stakes, standardized tests. The OEA-RA is the largest deliberative body of professional educators in Oregon, averaging more than 600 member-delegates each year. Every year, delegates, who are elected by members across the state, debate and decide upon policy that guides the organization. “Oregon educators have made it very clear: our students deserve better,” said Hanna Vaandering, OEA President. “Parents and teachers strive for each and every student to meet the highest expectations for learning. We make this much harder on our kids when the name of the game is more high-stakes testing. Instead, we need to invest the time, resources and money to ensure student success.” At the OEA-RA, educators demanded a moratorium on the Smarter Balanced Assessment, the state’s new high-stakes test. Educators want to ensure that the new state assessment accurately measures student learning and that appropriate modifications be made prior to rolling out any new assessments in Oregon classrooms. “Educators are standing up for their students and the schools they deserve,” Vaandering said. “Students need their teachers to be empowered and have the time to challenge and support them in meeting the demands of new high academic standards. With the rush to implement new standards, we’re simply missing an opportunity to do what’s best for our students. Oregon students get one shot at a quality education and for that we have to be in this for the long haul.” Educators across Oregon have expressed their need for time, tools and resources to gain a deep understanding of the new


Common Core Standards, assess their appropriateness, collaborate with colleagues, work with parents and adjust their curriculum, lesson plans and classroom instruction to ensure students are successful. At the 2014 OEA-RA, educators also approved items to: n Work with parents and education stakeholders to determine appropriate

Credits: Left: Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon; Right: Becca Uherbelau

use of assessment, n Publicly invite Oregon legislators and every elected and appointed education public official to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test, n Call for congressional hearings on the misuse and abuse of standardized testing, n Ask that testing programs originate from or be approved by licensed educators instead of from the for-profit testing industry. The OEA is proud to be engaged in a joint effort with Chief Education Officer Nancy Golden in proposing a more balanced and effective system of assessments for Oregon students. The work group, which includes 16 OEA member educators, is currently developing a proposal that outlines an assessment system that best supports student learning and is meaningful to educators.






Ar a ne sup pa med Or edie por ssio wit e s n h cre gon t stuting o for ati edu de ur vel ca nts lea suy tac tors , rni mm kle ng e los r By s M

eg Kru Th ge om Ph l as oto Pa tte s by rso n


arrison Park Elementary School sits at a busy corner in Southeast Portland where cars fly by and ambulances squeal day and night. In recent years, the poverty-stricken neighborhood has been plagued by racial violence. As a result, many parents are afraid to let their kids play outside or walk home from school. It’s certainly not the idyllic setting one would envision for an elementary school, and it’s not surprising that, over the summer, many of Harrison Park’s students find themselves inside their apartment complexes with, quite literally, absolutely nothing to do. Except for a lucky few. 20


Monmouth Elementary student Hannah Steed took part in the SL3 program last summer as an incoming first grader; she'd come to the library with her older sibling to check out books and eat lunch from the Summer Food Service Program.



Four years ago, Tim Schulze landed his first full-time teaching position at Harrison Park as a 5th grade teacher. At the time, he had several years under his belt as a substitute teacher. From those years, he saw firsthand the impact (and anxiety) that the summer vacation had on his English Language Learner (ELL) students. He remembers in particular a young girl from Turkey, who ended the year at grade level. But, after three months of not speaking English in her home, she returned to school the next fall woefully unprepared to pick up with the rest of her class. Like this young girl, Schulze recognized that many, if not all, of his ELL students needed opportunities for summer learning that they just weren’t getting at home. According to current research from the National Summer Learning Association, low-income students lose approximately two months of reading achievement over the summer, while their higher-income peers often gain ground. The loss is cumulative — meaning what begins as a modest delay for a six-year-old can reach

crisis point by the time that child gets to high school. For students who speak little to no English in the home, the situation is exacerbated. Without adequate public education funding for summer school, and with families who cannot afford to send their kids to costly summer day camps, where do you turn? In Schulze’s case, you start a non-profit. PDX Summer School, a 501(c)3 organization, serves ELL students from Harrison Park elementary for five weeks during the summer months. It began as Schulze’s labor of love — he’d walk a handful of kids from a neighboring apartment complex to school for a few hours a day during the summer to work on math and literacy skills. Today, the organization staffs five teachers, serves about 65 students, and operates with a budget of nearly $100,000. The money comes from a variety of sources — grants, in-kind donations for facility rental, and this year, general fund dollars from Portland Public Schools’ Grade 3 Reading Initiative. “PPS is realizing that expanding these

teacher-led opportunities for low-income ESL kids is a really smart investment and are setting us up with a long-term investment for PDX Summer School,” Schulze said. As Founder and Board Chair, Schulze has cultivated a strong Board of Directors from the local community who care deeply about PDX Summer School’s mission to provide ELL students with quality learning opportunities over the summer months. At its core, PDX Summer School is designed and led by public school teachers who know what’s best for the students they work with each day during the academic year. Students enrolled in PDX Summer School receive a pre- and post-assessment in reading and math and follow the BRIDGES curriculum, which they’re familiar with because it is used by Portland Public Schools. Beyond that, PDX Summer School takes students to the beach for a field trip (many of whom have never seen the ocean before) and students complete a cultural project about their native country. Schulze says the cultural project



regon is a state known for its abundant production of fresh produce, and yet thousands of Oregonians do not have adequate resources to put food on the table. According to Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon, Oregon is among the top five hungriest states in the nation. About 27 percent of all Oregon kids experienced food insecurity, meaning that these students lack consistent access to adequate amounts of nutritious food. With the arrival of summer vacation comes a host of anxieties for Oregon’s students who struggling with food insecurity. Kids on the Free and Reduced lunch program face an uncertain three months in terms of where, and how, they’ll access healthy breakfasts and lunches when schools close their doors. The Summer Food Service Program works to ensure that all children continue to have access to meals during the long summer months when the school lunch is not available. Qualifying sites are generally located within the attendance area of a public school (elementary, middle, or high) where 50 percent or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Lesley Nelson, Manager of Child Hunger Prevention for Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, said that though the need continues to be great, “summer food is hurting,” noting a 2 22


percent decline last summer in terms of total meals served. She attributes the decline not to a decrease in the overall need for summer food, but to cuts in summer school programming across the state. The most successful summer food programs are those that operate where children live, learn and play — with a special emphasis on the ‘learning’ piece. Asking families to take a bus across town to a neighborhood they’re unfamiliar with in order to access a lunch just doesn’t work. “The most successful programs, not surprisingly, are the ones in schools where the kids already go to school,” Nelson said, noting that the highest participation in summer food is linked to sites where half-day, or better yet, full-day summer school programming already exists. “These are programs that blend enrichment, prevention of summer learning loss through reading and math instruction, and include a lunch as part of that wraparound service. The vast majority of these programs run well because they are an extension of a child’s normal routine.” When summer learning programs face cuts, summer food feels the hit. “There’s no longer an opportunity to reach those kids who are at highest risk for summer learning loss,” Nelson said.

Harrison Park Elementary teacher Tim Schulze says it can take months, not weeks, to catch students up in the fall due to summer learning loss.

accentuates the variety of students' ethnic backgrounds that come together over the summer as the school’s strength — something that isn’t often addressed during the regular academic year and through traditional curriculum. “We want to serve more kids, but we want to grow at a sustainable rate. We don’t want to lose the quality of our program,” Schulze said. “Our results speak for themselves. We can say with confidence that 100 percent of our students maintained or improved in math and reading. It’s a quality program and that is due to our teachers, who are good at their job, care about their kids, and will go that extra mile.” A quick survey around the state of various summer learning programs seems to have that as a common denominator — educators who go above and beyond for the sake of their students’ learning opportunities year-round. Often, these teachers do so without adequate, if any additional pay, simply because they understand the Credits: Thomas Patterson

impact even a few additional hours at school over the summer can have when students return in September.


Monmouth Elementary School is the antidote to Harrison Park Elementary — a well-loved, small-town school nestled in an older, established neighborhood. The school has no interior hallways — instead, each classroom’s door opens to expansive playground space. On the weekends and during summer break, families will walk back to the school to take advantage of the grounds and its open campus atmosphere. But, within this picture perfect setting, teachers will tell you that the effects of summer learning loss are still very real. Around 50 percent of Monmouth Elementary students are on the free and reduced lunch program and the school offers a free lunch program over the summer months. These factors made the elementary school a perfect fit for a new initiative

called SL3 (School Libraries, Summer Learning, Summer Lunch), a program sponsored by the Oregon After-School Network (OregonASK), in partnership with the National Summer Learning Association and the Prince Henry Foundation. The program is modeled on an incredibly simple concept — keep the school library open when summer lunch is served. Any student in the district library system can have access to check out books during this time. In addition to library book access, students can take home free books thanks to the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation and their Bazillion Books for Kids program, they receive summer meals via the USDA Summer Meal Service Program and in some cases, participate in educational and engaging activities such as group read-a-louds and books clubs. This summer, 26 schools (up from 14 schools last summer) will be keeping their library doors open thanks to SL3 funding. “Conceptually, its really very easy. It’s two hours a week but it can have a huge TODAY’S OEA | JUNE 2014


impact because it keeps kids motivated to read during the summer,” said Dorie Vickery, Monmouth Elementary Principal. Vickery said that prior to getting SL3 up and running, Monmouth Elementary had very little available in the way of summer programming to combat learning loss, and what did exist was limited to just a few students. SL3 opens the door to anybody – elementary kids and their older or younger siblings, or any other student in the district who wants access to a school library. “[The program] is really about, how do we mobilize the community and acknowledge that low-income kids 1) don’t have access to food and 2) need to have additional reading supports?” said Beth Unvergazt, Executive Director of OregonASK. “Our hope is that SL3 will grow and we will be able to provide additional academic and enrichment programming that supports our low-income kids.” One of the program’s biggest champions is Michele Sparks, a 1st and 2nd grade teacher at Monmouth Elementary who voluntarily comes once a week in the summer to meet up with her students and their families and help them pick out developmentally appropriate books. Because she loops with the same group of students (her first grade students this year will be in her same classroom as second graders next year), seeing her students over the summer and helping them find books at their reading level can help ease the transition of returning to school in the fall. “The benefit of coming in the summer is getting that weekly check-in with them. I can verbally ask them, ‘Have you been reading?’” said Sparks. She acknowledges that working overtime for no additional pay is a tradeoff, and it’s not the right choice for everybody. “I just didn’t want to deal with the consequences in September if my students didn’t come in,” she said. Last year, Monmouth Elementary laid the groundwork on another program to target the ‘summer slide’ — sending two teachers and four instructional assistants into the homes of students across the district who were identified as needing additional support. Debbie Swogger, Monmouth’s reading specialist who oversees 24


Michele Sparks meets her students in the school library over the summer and helps them select books appropriate to their reading level.

the home visits, said the program will continue this summer by using the district’s limited summer school funding dollars. “By and large, what’s been nice is that our parents have felt that home-to-school connection,” Swogger said of the home visits and the success of SL3.


As a state, Oregon policy-makers are beginning to realize, and support, the dire need for increased summer program funding. In the 2013 legislative session, OEA championed and the Oregon House of Representatives passed House Bill 4117, which provides small but earnest summer learning grants totaling $500,000 to 13 Title I schools from 10 districts across the state. How these districts chose to use their funds will be decided at the local level. Reynolds School District, which has one of the highest free and reduced lunch rates in Oregon, will be receiving grants to support three of its schools. The reality, though, is that there is a need at every school in that district for increased support of summer learning. Tammy Sykes

teaches Kindergarten at Davis Elementary in Reynolds. The school serves primarily ELL students and has a student poverty rate of over 90 percent. Yet, Davis Elementary won’t be receiving one of the HB 4117 Summer Learning Grants. Instead, teachers like Sykes do what many professionals would consider unthinkable — work overtime for half the pay, just to ensure her students receive some semblance of quality learning over the summer months. It’s ironic because Sykes, who has long been an advocate for higher, professional-level pay for teachers at the bargaining table, has worked several summers for no pay at all, just to ensure no student is turned away from accessing summer school. Over a decade ago, Sykes helped originate the summer school program at Davis Elementary. “We didn’t need the research. We could just see our students fall back three or four months in the summer. We have one of the shortest school years in the country, and for our children, that just wasn’t cutting it,” Sykes said. In those early days of Davis’ summer school program, Sykes and her colleagues

relied entirely on fundraising — but were able to offer a curriculum that was full of enrichment activities. A unit on transportation, for example, would end with students taking a field trip on the Mt. Hood Railroad. They’d watch large trucks fill their beds with apples and pears and their little eyes would bulge in amazement. It didn’t take long after that first year for the District to offer up some of its Title I funding to Davis Elementary to support their summer program. “With the Title dollars comes federal expectations of what we have to fulfill, and a certain amount of the day has to be spent on targeted instruction based on data,” Sykes said. By the very nature of where they go to school, her students are continually looped into a cycle of testing and repeat. “It’s really sad to see our poorest students get the poorest curriculum, but in the summer, we try to break that as much as possible.” With any discussion on summer learning loss comes the not-so-new idea of year-round school. Would it work; would it improve learning; would it prevent the summer slide? For a lot of student populations, [year-round school] could make a huge difference. “Although I’m very passionate about summer learning loss, I think it almost has to be up to each individual school. It doesn’t occur for all children,” Sykes said. “Unfortunately, the funding for education isn’t enough to cover a quality school year. And so, at this point in time, to try and advocate for lengthening the school year doesn’t make a lot of sense when we’re not doing a good enough job of funding to the QEM (quality education model) so that our students have art, music and PE.” Still, Sykes and her colleagues have seized every opportunity to infuse some fun in the four weeks they have students over the summer – from trips to the zoo to study animal anatomy to pitching tents inside the classroom and making s'mores. “You can’t expect to raise children’s scores over the summer. That’s not our goal. It’s to prevent the slide,” Sykes said. “For me, the goal is to give our children some of the things that we have taken away from them during the school year.” n Credits: Thomas Patterson

Your Rights To Additional Information

SUMMARY ANNUAL REPORT FOR OEA CHOICE TRUST This is a summary of the annual report of the OEA CHOICE TRUST, EIN 930243443, Plan No. 501, for period July 01, 2012 through June 30, 2013. The annual report has been filed with the Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, as required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

Insurance Information The plan has a contract with Unum Life Insurance Company Of America to pay Group long term care claims incurred under the terms of the plan. The total premiums paid for the plan year ending June 30, 2013 were $11,966.

Basic Financial Statement The value of plan assets, after subtracting liabilities of the plan, was $58,683,424 as of June 30, 2013, compared to $55,846,472 as of July 01, 2012. During the plan year the plan experienced an increase in its net assets of $2,836,952. This increase includes unrealized appreciation and depreciation in the value of plan assets; that is, the difference between the value of the plan's assets at the end of the year and the value of the assets at the beginning of the year or the cost of assets acquired during the year. During the plan year, the plan had total income of $5,123,153, including earnings from investments of $4,456,257, and other income of $666,896. Plan expenses were $2,286,201. These expenses included $1,541,118 in administrative expenses, and $745,083 in benefits paid to participants and beneficiaries.

You have the right to receive a copy of the full annual report, or any part thereof, on request. The items listed below are included in that report: • an accountant's report; • financial information; • assets held for investment; • insurance information, including sales commissions paid by insurance carriers; To obtain a copy of the full annual report, or any part thereof, write or call the office of OEA CHOICE TRUST at 6900 SW ATLANTA STREET, BLDG 2, TIGARD, OR 97223, or by telephone at (503)620-3822. The charge to cover copying costs will be $0.00 for the full annual report, or $0.00 per page for any part thereof. You also have the right to receive from the plan administrator, on request and at no charge, a statement of the assets and liabilities of the plan and accompanying notes, or a statement of income and expenses of the plan and accompanying notes, or both. If you request a copy of the full annual report from the plan administrator, these two statements and accompanying notes will be included as part of that report. The charge to cover copying costs given above does not include a charge for the copying of these portions of the report because these portions are furnished without charge. You also have the legally protected right to examine the annual report at the main office of the plan (OEA CHOICE TRUST, 6900 SW ATLANTA STREET, BLDG 2, TIGARD, OR 97223) and at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., or to obtain a copy from the U.S. Department of Labor upon payment of copying costs. Requests to the Department should be addressed to: Public Disclosure Room, Room N1513, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. TODAY’S OEA | JUNE 2014


A Golden Conversation




ast year, the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB) unanimously approved Dr. Nancy Golden to serve as the state’s second Chief Education Officer. Golden is charged with overseeing and leading the state’s efforts to fulfill the vision for a unified system of public education that ensures that Oregonians, from birth to College and Career, are prepared for a promising future. Dr. Golden had previously served as education advisor to Governor John Kitzhaber and comes to the state’s highest education policy position with more than 40 years in public education – serving as the Superintendent for Springfield Public Schools and as a special education teacher in the district for more than 25 years. Recently, Dr. Golden sat down with Today’s OEA during her visit to Benson Poly Technic High School in Portland. Golden shared her vision for the future of public education in Oregon and addressed a number of critical issues of interest to Oregon educators, including the Common Core Standards, student assessment and poverty in our schools.

Nancy Golden, Oregon’s Chief Education Officer, Shares her Thoughts on Common Core, Assessment, and Poverty Credits: Thomas Patterson

Today, you’ve concluded a week of traveling to schools around the state with a visit here at Benson High School. What have you seen in your visits to schools and communities across Oregon? I went to the South Coast and spent time in Coquille and Port Orford. What I saw in these really small communities is incredible teaching and incredible partnerships with people like Head Start, early learning and Community Colleges to help all students have access to college. It’s really nice to see most people are really embracing the idea that education is about a pathway within these key segments. I am enthusiastically moving throughout the state to see how teachers, administrators and partner organizations are really working to achieve the goal of 40-40-20. A current example is something we’re actually doing with OEA, which is around “Effective Assessment.” When I’m out in the field I hear there is too much emphasis put on one summative assessment. When I talk to teachers, they value formative assessment because it informs instruction and they value interim assessment because it helps them regroup – “how do I help a child excel or catch up on skills?” So, for me, that’s risen to be a pretty important thing. The Governor, OEA and I decided that [assessment] is something that we would jointly put effort toward. It’s an issue that is impacting a substantial number of students. [The assessment work group, which consists of 16 OEA members] is going to come up with some recommendations to the Governor around how we create effective systems. Some of the solutions might require partnering differently, it might require legislation, [and] it might require investments. I believe you do it in partnership. In this case, the teachers are telling me that [summative] assessment is not really helping them to help their students achieve. It’s really important to listen. [These] are the people I would want to be working with side-by-side on this issue, along with some partners from the state like [Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction] Rob Saxton. Is there anything else you’ve taken away from this assessment work group process thus far? TODAY’S OEA | JUNE 2014


It has been very aligned with what my philosophy has been the whole time I’ve been an educator, which is a belief in a real collaborative process. When we came together, we really had very different perspectives on things and by working together … we really did find the common ground.

you’re starting to think about, “What do we need to do to get our students to meet the standards?” If you’re working with teachers on [the achievement compact] — and really trying to think about it with the precious dollars you have to invest —the conversation just gets richer.



You mention that a major responsibility (of OEIB) is teachers and administrators and partner organizations working to achieve the state’s 40-40-20 goals. What specifically is the role of the Chief Education Officer and OEIB? We’re really a policy group that’s meant to stay in touch with what is happening on the ground. Our job is to really understand the barriers that are preventing people from doing what they need to do and work on eliminating barriers. The other thing we do in the OEIB is we really focus on the transitions. For us the transition between age three to grade three is really critical – making sure kids are proficient by third grade. The other transition that’s so important is the 11th grade through 14 (post-secondary). These transitions are critical junctures for student success and span multiple agencies; our focus is on ensuring that they are seamless. When I’m out, I talk to teachers to get a sense of what the barriers are in terms of creating a smooth system — how do we get our students to those critical benchmarks? They are such critical outcomes to student success. Finally, OEIB makes strategic investment recommendations. To have the smooth pathway and ensure students reach the targets, we need to think about what kind of investments we should be suggesting to the Governor and the Legislature.

The OEIB introduced the notion of “tightloose-tight” – the tight being the OEIB setting high standards around student outcomes, the loose being school districts having the opportunity to be flexible in the strategies to meet those outcomes, and tight for those schools and districts who aren’t showing significant progress in student outcomes. How do you view achievement compacts in the context of “tight-loose-tight?” [I]t’s very much supposed to be a support model. I think the Achievement Compacts are really an accountability measure for the OEIB to get a sense for how we [as a state] are doing in meeting the targets and what the patterns are [that] we need to pay attention to. Our accountability is not at all on the individual building level, it’s at the pattern level.

COMPACTS OEIB requires school districts to set targets for student outcomes through Achievement Compacts. As part of the process, there’s the expectation that teachers and administrators will collaborate in setting strategies to meet the targets. What’s your vision for this process? What we’ve seen in this process is that some districts are doing that really well. They really get how important it is when 28


TELL OREGON For the first time, Oregon has conducted a comprehensive, statewide survey of teaching conditions in every public school, known as TELL Oregon. How do you view the TELL survey as part of the work of the OEIB? [TELL Oregon] is very important work. Every school is getting their own report. I’m certainly interested in that but I’m much more interested in the aggregate, because I’m looking at the state level. I had an early glimpse of a few things that seem to be a pattern and one of them, of course, is teachers needing more time to collaborate. I see the power in collaboration. I see the power of teachers looking at students’ data together, or their portfolios, or talking about the support a student needs to even get to school. My job on a policy level is “what would be the policies or investments we would need to get us there?” If we were to find a solution to “how do teachers have more time” you’re balancing that against local control. From where I sit, I don’t want to be coming

Nancy Golden stresses the importance of seeing the reality of our public schools; here, she visits Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland.

up with a one-solution-fits-all. I just saw this so clearly when I was in rural Oregon. Sometimes we come up with an urban solution and think it’s going to work in rural Oregon. And it [won’t].

COMMON CORE One of the issues we’re hearing from educators that’s related to their lack of time and large class sizes is the implementation of Common Core Standards. What’s your take on the Common Core? And what will it provide for our schools and most importantly, our students? I think the idea of having standards that are aligned with getting students career and college ready is absolutely critical. We also need to look at who is in the opportunity gap and we need to look at culturally specific practices and [how] to really engage families in ways that are comfortable for them. What it says to me is the standards are the right standards, but if you talk to teachers, they need to know what they are, they need to redesign their curriculum, they need to get a chance to teach and use the standards. They need support in doing all of that. I think people need to understand – and I need to help people understand – what a

huge lift this is. We’ve heard from OEA members that they have real concerns about how the Common Core Standards are being implemented – namely their voice in implementation, in terms of resources and professional development in their school district. How can we get implementation of the Common Core right? It has to be teacher directed – and much more teacher directed. That doesn’t mean you’re not working with a principal, but I visualize a principal forming a committee of six-ten teachers and the first question is “in order for you to be successful in teaching the Common Core, what do you need? And let’s figure out how to get it.” There are teachers who have already aligned (their curriculum), are teaching (the Common Core), and loving it. How do we get the teachers who have done it in the same subject areas really working side by side with the teachers who haven’t yet? How do (teachers) share what they’ve done?

HIGH-STAKES TESTING OEA’s membership took a strong position asking for a moratorium on the Smarter Credits: Thomas Patterson

Balanced Assessment. How has Smarter Balanced affected implementation of Common Core and could it be potentially postponed? If we just put a moratorium on (Smarter Balanced) we won’t get into really figuring out what about it works and what about it doesn’t work. The work we’re doing with OEA [is] around what would effective assessments look like and how do we stay focused on that. And how do we help people understand that one snapshot test that’s incredibly high stakes for the educator or the student is not where the really important focus needs to be. The important focus needs to be “what informs teaching and learning all along the way?”

POVERTY Educators and parents around the state see poverty has a significant impact on student success. What is your role and that of the OEIB in addressing poverty? I think this is one of my major responsibilities. What we’re realizing is the number of children in poverty has increased substantially. [We need] to really understand what their lives are like. Sometimes we

know if a parent can’t make it to parentteacher conference it’s because they got a temporary job so they can keep the lights on for their family. [We need] to not judge that as [though] they don’t care about their child; they’re fighting really hard to just help their children have some of the basic needs. I think it’s how do we, as teachers who’ve never been in poverty, really understand what it’s like? We can do a lot of that through staff development and poverty simulation. It’s much bigger than that, too. We have to get more jobs. It’s not just about supporting kids in poverty, it’s about helping to get families out of poverty. I see that as part of my job. There is a tremendous intersection between education – giving people the skills so they can get jobs they might not be able to get otherwise — and [championing the work] to increase jobs. We still have to work toward the standards. It’s very tempting to put the teaching aside and say “I’m just going to become the caseworker who finds the services all of my families need.” But the problem with that is that the [best] hope of moving out of poverty is education. So we have to keep education – the standards our kids need to meet – in front of us, but we need work with our partners and I need to work, on a policy level, to get more integrated health and social services. [Poverty] is a huge policy area, and one where I believe there is tremendous common ground. What inspired you to become the Chief Education Officer and inspires you in your work? I really believe deeply in the vision of 4040-20. And I think there are great teachers in this state, great administrators and great partners. One thing I know that every teacher wants is a child to be successful. If kids came to kindergarten with the skills to be successful, then we could really meet the standards at a much higher rate than we can now. The pathway can really become so much easier if we meet key targets. Teachers are very compelled by students graduating and going on to be successful. But [up until this point] we really haven’t had the systems in place in this state to really make that a bigger reality. n TODAY’S OEA | JUNE 2014


6 Reasons to Become a Member Union workers earn 28 percent more than non-union workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (The 15 states with the highest teachers’ salaries are the states with the strongest collective bargaining laws and the highest percentage of union membership. The states with the lowest salaries and lowest membership tend to have no collective bargaining rights). n

As a member, you are entitled to vote on the contracts or other important decisions that can affect your job. You are empowered to have a say on what happens to you in your workplace. n

Your decision to be a fair share payer impacts not only you — it impacts every worker in your district. Full membership increases the power of every school employee working in your school district and the community. n

Your administration knows exactly how many members OEA has. They try to use the percentage of fee payers against all educators during bargaining and this affects our ability to negotiate a better contract for everyone. They also use this fact against us when we meet with them about grievances and other issues that affect our working conditions. n

In light of the current economic climate in our state and in our country, we are facing an uphill battle to retain investment in public education and quality jobs for the middle class. Unions are the best hope for the middle class to fight back and protect their families. n

The poorest states in the US are those in which unions don’t have many members or much power. These are called “Right to Work” states, but what that phrase really means is that workers there have no rights and work for less. n



Fair Share Fee Decision Coming Down the Pipe F air share is a commonsense way to protect equity, individual rights, and the pocketbooks of educators. Also known as agency fee, fair share provisions ensure that all educators contribute to the legally required representation and negotiated benefits provided to them by local associations. Fair share does not force individuals to join the union; it simply ensures that all educators contribute to the negotiated benefits and legally required representation that they collectively receive. But, in recent years, fair share has been under attack in the courts and state legislatures by opponents who wish to undermine the rights of working people and erode the strength of our union and other public sector unions. One only needs to look at colleagues in Michigan to see how quickly a state with a strong labor tradition can abandon rights for working people. Whether or not unions will be able to continue collecting fair share fees will be determined in short order through the Harris v. Quinn case, which is now pending before the Supreme Court. Who’s behind Harris v. Quinn? The National Right to Work Committee, an extreme anti-worker group whose funders include billionaires like Charles and David Koch and the Walton family. The National Right to Work Committee has asked the Supreme Court to reconsider and overrule its prior decisions that have allowed publicsector unions to collect agency fees in a manner that is consistent with the First Amendment. Should the Court overrule its prior precedents — which is an outcome that the NEA considers unlikely but within the realm of possibility — it would have immediate consequences for NEA and its affiliates. In Oregon, fair share fees are

Harris v. Quinn — one of the most important labor law cases considered by the Supreme Court in decades — could alter the landscape for union members

approximately 80 percent of standard OEA member dues. If the U.S. Supreme Court declares fair share provisions for public sector employees unconstitutional in Harris v. Quinn, OEA could face an immediate short-term loss of membership, resulting in fewer resources to support critical programs for our members and students. Under fair share, all employees draw the same benefits and protections of the union contract. But, fair share payers miss out on numerous Association full membership benefits, including the strength and influence of a unified Association voice on public policy and workplace issues; access to professional development and opportunities to interact and learn from a global network of educators; legal protections and so much more. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling, OEA will continue to advocate for the rights of school employees and for the schools our students deserve. We are confident in our ability to remain a strong voice for workers and the future of public education in Oregon. No court case is going to stand in the way of educators coming together to have a strong voice for the schools our students deserve. Today, we are more resolute than ever: joining together through a union is the best way for educators to ensure quality teaching and learning conditions. n

What You Need to Know About Harris v. Quinn Although the Harris v. Quinn case centers around homebased health care aides in Illinois, its outcome could have big ramifications for public workers, including educators, and the home-care service industry nationwide. The Harris v. Quinn case was brought by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation against the state of Illinois, SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, SEIU Local 73 and AFSCME Council 31 on behalf of a small group of home health care aides who are paid with state funds to provide assistance to disabled individuals. The plaintiffs in the case did not want to join a union and sued the state of Illinois, arguing that requiring them to pay union "fair share" fees as a stipulation of their employment violates their First Amendment rights. In late November 2013, the Harris plaintiffs and several supporting amici filed their briefs with the Court, all of which argue that the Court should explicitly declare all public-sector fair share fee arrangements unconstitutional. As a fall back from that position, the petitioner’s brief argues that Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977) (which upholds the constitutionality of Fair Share arrangements in the context of traditional public employment), should be narrowed and permit agency fee arrangements only in traditional public sector employment contexts and only to charge for union conduct that does not amount to speech on matters of public concern (a test that would,


“The purpose of the legal challenge is not to protect the rights of individual employees. The real purpose is to diminish the political voice of public-sector unions.” John Logan, director of San Francisco State University’s labor studies program, as told to the Huffington Post in response to a fair share lawsuit in California n

if adopted, significantly reduce the type of union activities that may be charged to fair share fee payers). The Court heard arguments on Harris in January 2014, with a decision expected to follow sometime between March and the end of June 2014. The union defendants in Harris and their supporting amici (which include NEA) made strong arguments as to why agency fee arrangements are constitutional, which included pointing out that several of the current justices (including Justices Scalia and Kennedy) previously have accepted the proposition that fair share arrangements are constitutional at least insofar as fee payers are only being charged for the costs of the union carrying out its statutory duties as the employees’ exclusive collective bargaining representative.



Sources + Resources The following information is provided as a resource to members of the Oregon Education Association. Their publication within Today’s OEA is not to be construed as a recommendation or endorsement of the products or services by the Oregon Education Association, its Board of Directors or staff. OPPORTUNITIES


OCSS Awards

WHAT: The Oregon Council for the Social Studies (OCSS) is accepting nominations for the 2014 OCSS Oregon Outstanding Social Studies Educator of the Year Awards. n WHen: Application deadline is Aug. 22, 2014. n how: For more information and online nomination form, go to www. n

Siemens High School Competition WHAT: This competition fosters intensive research that improves students' understanding of the value of scientific study and informs their consideration of future careers in these disciplines—for team or individual students. Maximum award: $100,000 college scholarship. n WHO: High school students (grades 9-12) enrolled during the 2014-15 school year, individually or as a team. n WHen: Application deadline is Sep. 30, 2014. n how: For more information, go to https://siemenscompetition. n

NCTM: PreK-6 Classroom Research Grants

WHAT: These grants support and encourage classroom-based research in precollege mathematics education in collaboration with college or university mathematics educators—a mathematics education researcher or a mathematics teacher, and one or more PreK-6 classroom teachers. Maximum award: $6,000. n WHen: Application deadline is Nov. 7, 2014. n how: For more information on eligibility and how to apply, go to aspx?id=1330 n



Classroom Management Strategies That Work WHAT: During this seminar, experienced educator and OEA Member Katrina Ayres shares her secrets for avoiding power struggles, creating a supportive classroom environment, and developing positive relationships with students. Graduate Credit is available. n WHen: June 17, 2014 n WHere: La Quinta Inn and Suites, Salem OR n how: To learn more and to register, go to seminars n

Oregon AFL-CIO 2014 Summer School

WHAT: Throughout the Summer School weekend, participants meet to share insights and ideas through educational core courses and workshops, small group discussions, and with lots of opportunities to connect with union members from around the state. n WHere: University of Oregon, Global Scholars Hall n WHen: Aug. 1-3, 2014 n how: For more information and to register, visit n

Engaging 21st Century Readers: Strategies for Teaching Nonfiction and Visual Texts in the Common Core Classroom WHAT: The Portland Reading Council announces its Summer Institute featuring two breakout sessions: K-5 and 6-12. Participants will learn practical, classroom-ready strategies to boost reading comprehension. Graduate credit is available. n WHen: Aug. 20, 2014 n WHere: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Lake Oswego n how: For cost, registration details and n

session descriptions, go to http://pcira. or contact pennyplavala@

Participate in National Voter Registration Day

WHAT: The Oregon Secretary of State’s Office will work with teachers across the state to provide engaging, easyto-use plans to teach students about voting rights, civics, American history and our democracy. Participating in National Voter Registration satisfies the requirements for ORS 329.049. n WHen: National Voter Registration Day returns on Sep. 24, 2014 n how: To sign up and receive more information, email Josh Goldberg at josh. n

Recruiting Volunteers for SuperKids Literacy Project

WHAT: Great Shape! Inc. is recruiting volunteers (two teachers/retired teachers) for SuperKids Literacy project. Volunteers are also needed for reading assistants, computer skills, art, music or sports. Cost: Project Fee: $750, plus airfare. n WHere: Jamaica n WHen: Nov. 7 - Nov. 24, 2014 n how: For more information on the program and how to apply, go to www. n


The March Continues: Five Essential Practices for Teaching the Civil Rights

WHAT: This report by the southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Program offers guidance and resources that help teachers talk about race, tell a complicated story and connect it to the present, among other goals. n how: To view or download this guide, go to n

Sources + Resources Special Discounts from SmileMakers

WHAT: Association members receive up to 50% off on SmileMakers items (at least 25% off on everything) and free shipping on all orders of $25 or more when using the promo code NEAMB. Offer valid through Sep. 8, 2014. n how: For more information, go to www. smilemakers-discount-teacher-store.htm n


TeacherVision Offers Resources n WHAT: This website features tools

and resources that make learning fun for students in grades K-12. Resources include lesson plans, graphic organizers, printables, quizzes, and printable books. n how: To go math/52566.html

50 Core American Documents e-Book from the Ashbrook Center n WHAT: The Ashbrook Center has

compiled 50 core documents that present different views on some of the major issues and disputes in American history and government, and invite teachers and students into an unfolding American political dialogue. n how: To register for the eBook or view the documents online, visit http://

Free Technology for Teachers n WHAT: This website features free

resources and lesson plans for teaching with technology. Some of the resources include tutorials designed specifically for teachers. n how: Find these resources at www.

Access to Grant Announcements

WHAT: offers free access to a complete and current database of Federal, State and Private Foundation grants available to schools and non-profit organizations. n where:


Let's Find Out! Building Content Knowledge with Young Children By: Susan Kempton Stenhouse Publishers, 2014; ISBN-13: 9781571109514; $28.00 (List Price); Available online at In this book, the author shows how to capitalize on children's natural curiosity and use various tools—literature, visuals, living and nonliving artifacts, drawing, song, movement, dramatization—to develop language, concepts, and basic literacy skills.

Intentional Talk: How to Structure and Lead Productive Mathematical Discussions By: Elham Kazemi, Allison Hintz Stenhouse Publishers, 2014; ISBN-13: 9781571109767; $20.00 (List Price); Available online at This book provides ways to direct discussions with a goal in mind, whether it be to generate lots of problem-solving strategies or to target a particular idea. Providing numerous classroom vignettes and practical examples, see how to teach all students to participate in meaningful ways and support their thinking using effective questioning and teacher "talk moves."

Be That Teacher! Breaking the Cycle for Struggling Readers By: Victoria Risko, Doris Walker-Dalhouse Teachers College Press, 2012; ISBN: 080775322X; $34.95 (List Price); Available online at The authors show how to provide the type of differentiated instruction that draws on students' individual and cultural backgrounds, as well as the results of classroom-based diagnostic and progress-monitoring assessment measures. Examples and case studies demonstrate how this instruction can be implemented and adjusted to accommodate students' individual differences.

Professional Development for Differentiating Instruction: An ASCD Action Tool By: Cindy A. Strickland Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2009; ISBN-13: 9781416608110; $69.00 (List Price); Available at


The author provides staff developers, teacher leaders, and other professional development leaders with the tools they need to model differentiation as they show teachers and administrators how to successfully implement and maintain differentiated instruction initiatives.



ON THE WEB / 06.14 »


Avoid the Summer Teaching Slide


oday’s education environment has become increasingly competitive due to budget cuts. As a way of responding to this reality, you might consider taking a summer course to add an endorsement to your teaching license or to pursue graduate-level trainings. This year, there are plentiful opportunities to brush up on your professional skills around the state, no matter where you live! Our list of compiled professional development courses includes

Class Size: Take the Next Step


early a year ago, OEA kicked off the class size campaign. Since then, thousands of educators have told their stories about how the disinvestment in public education is negatively impacting our students and the future of our state every day. If you’ve already shared your class size story with OEA, thank you. (If not — there’s still the opportunity to at Thank you for committing to doing what it takes to raise the revenue we need to support student success. Because of you, we were able to gather tens-of-thousands of commitments for signatures for a revenue ballot measure. While there will not be a measure on the 2014 ballot, OEA remains committed to building on our collective great work and pursuing the additional revenue our schools need — by organizing in our buildings, in our communities, through the 2015 Legislative session and all the way to a ballot measure in 2016. Let us know how you would like to stay involved in the campaign going forward. Go to: to take that next step.



offerings from Eastern Oregon University, Lewis and Clark College, Multnomah University, Oregon State University, Pacific University, Portland State University, Western Oregon University, University of Phoenix, and even a few courses instructed by OEA Members! We’ve made it easy for you to access all of these programs without needing to hunt all over the internet. Check it out at: www.

Read Today’s OEA Online!






id you know that each issue of Today’s OEA can be found (and read) online? We offer an E ON THE PATH TO COLLEG easy-to-use PDF viewer for each issue, allowing you to flip through the pages as if you were reading a hard copy of the magazine. Archives of Today’s OEA are kept up-to-date should you ever want to access a past issue of the magazine. Check it out! LATINO ACADEMIA LATINA PREPS




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June 2014 Today's OEA